The gradual but steady Militarization of Ikaland, which has practically destroyed socio-economic activities, particularly in Boji Boji metropolis, the effect of which is the increase in unemployment and crime in the locality has been described as unfortunate and retrogressive.
That was the observation of a resident in Agbor, Chief (Dr.) Yomi Oduselu Hassan in a chat with Ika Weekly recently at his residence. The trado-medical practitioner noted with sadness that Ikaland which was very peaceful before the return to civil rule, has today become crime infested, adding that "even with the large presence of different security outfits, including soldiers, the incidence of crime has been on the increase, while socio-economic activities, especially night life has been destroyed completely.
Chief Hassan lamented that those whose sources of livelihood and businesses are carried out in the evening have been thrown into the labour market. While positing that the curfew imposed on the people was not the solution to the rising crime wave, the trado- medical practitioner called on Ika traditional rulers to seek for lasting solution to the problem. He stated that people are afraid to identify and expose those behind the upsurge in criminal activities.
"It is surprising and shameful that despite turning Ikaland into a military zone, crime continues to mount. The security agents are more concerned with mounting road blocks and exhorting money from innocent members of the public. Commercial drivers and Okada riders are daily being harassed and dehumanized. These security operatives have become debt collectors, they are involved in settlement of land dispute and devoice cases instead of concentrating on arresting the rising crime wave. It is really disheartening" he fumed.
He lampooned the police for always insisting on monetary gratification before granting bail to those arrested for offenses that are clearly bailable. "It is as if people no longer know their rights. How can people be forced into parting with their money before being granted bail? They give all sorts of laughable reasons for collecting money. They will tell you that bail is N10,000, bail bond is N500, foolscap for statement is N200.00. God help you if you do not pay, as they will not hesitate to throw the person into the cell. That is to show the level of decadence our society has fallen into," he stated.
He submitted that almost everybody in Nigeria is enmeshed in corrupt practices, which he said has destroyed the fabric of the country. He however praised the effort the Central Bank Governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi in bringing a level of sanity to the banking sector but cautioned that he should be sincere with his reform agenda without introducing politics and ethnicity into it.
Chief Hassan regretting the near collapse of the country?s educational system, said that the country?s tertiary institutions now produced half baked graduates who can hardly defend their fields of study. "We now have doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, journalists who cannot effectively practice what they claimed to have spent many years studying at school. We now have doctors who cannot diagnonise common headache and lawyers who do not know anything about the law. It is a shame to our collective existence. Today, ASSU is on strike, and the Federal government seems not to be bothered about its far reaching impact on the lives of university students. These students will come back only to start doing whatever is possible to pass. And ofcourse, the ever greedy lecturers will be ready to pass them after receiving pecuniary gifts from them," he lamented.